April 2015 Issue


News Features

As you may already know, Amazon announced an uptick in earnings in its 2014 fourth quarter, while Google reported a dip. Amazon says fourth quarter sales were up 15% to $29.33 billion. Google too announced an increase in sales-ad revenue grew 14% year-over-year in Q4-but that represented a slowdown in growth. But if Amazon and Google are bellwethers of the digital content industry, what can we learn from these earnings reports?
- Posted Apr 06, 2015
Content Marketing Institute's 2015 "Small Business Marketing Trends-North America" study, sponsored by Copyblogger Media's Rainmaker platform, focuses on how small business marketers are changing their marketing practices. It also points to some potential opportunities for these small businesses and others to better leverage the value that content marketing can provide. Chief among the keys to content marketing success is having a strategy.
- Posted Apr 27, 2015

Featured Stories

Back in the 1980s, George Carlin had a famous bit in which he said, "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff." One can only imagine what comedic inspiration the late performer would've mined from connected homes in 2015, which have the ability to direct us when to go get more "stuff" or, alternatively, fetch "stuff." As household connectivity increases due to consumer adoption of broadband and wireless networks, homes (and the objects in them) are getting smarter. Products available in the Internet of Things (IoT)-defined as a state in which everyday objects are networked wirelessly and imbued with the ability to communicate without human intervention-now include an egg carton that alerts a homeowner when it's down to the last two eggs and learning thermostats that moderate temperatures in part by sensing when the home is empty.
- Posted Apr 01, 2015
On the fast-paced information superhighway--where speed rules and web wannabes drool--the spinning hourglass is as lethal a symbol as the skull and crossbones. Luckily for big and small content providers alike, the open and unfettered internet--where all data is theoretically treated equally and neutrally and consumers can access content quickly without fear of a site being deliberately blocked or choked off by broadband providers--has prevailed, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voting to preserve Net Neutrality in late February.
- Posted Apr 20, 2015
Just as the elephant is grasped differently by each of the monks in "The Blind Men and the Elephant," you'll hear a different take on the Internet of Things (IoT) based on whom you ask. That's not surprising because it is really such a wide-ranging subject. Here is an attempt to distill the essence, providing you with a summary and a current snapshot of this behemoth.
- Posted Apr 08, 2015

Columns

Shoppers can't buy items if they can't find them in the aisles; in the app store, it's no different. The inherent inability of app store search engines to expose users to the "long tail" of apps means the vast majority of apps remain virtually invisible. App store research underlines this imbalance, revealing that only 5% of apps accounted for 92% of downloads in 2013.
- Posted Apr 07, 2015
The web CMS industry is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, but not all challenges are resolved yet. And that includes internationalization, globalization, and localization of content. In 2012, Common Sense Advisory surveyed more than 2,400 consumers in eight countries. It asked about the importance of users interacting with websites in their native language. It found that 42% of respondents said they never purchase products and services described in a foreign language. And 56.2% said the ability to find info in their own language is more important than price.
- Posted Apr 14, 2015
In 2014, one of the biggest stories in social media was its emergence as a major driver of website traffic. At the beginning of the year, BuzzFeed began reporting to the press that 75% of its site traffic was coming from social media, and it didn't take long for others to begin touting their numbers. In reality, this trend began around August 2013 when many digital publishers noticed that social media had become a significant source of traffic. Up until that time, the conventional wisdom was that social media platforms were ill-suited for generating digital conversions. However, it is now clear that--harnessed effectively--social media can even surpass search as the main external referrer to the website.
- Posted Apr 21, 2015
I admit to being a skeptic about connected cars. But as Business Insider's John Greenough points out, "The connected car is equipped with internet connections and software that allow people to stream music, look up movie times, be alerted of traffic and weather conditions, and even power driving-assistance services such as self-parking." BI Intelligence estimates that by 2020, 75% of new cars will be capable of connecting to the internet. According to Greenough's article, BI Intelligence also says that "of the 220 million total connected cars on the road globally in 2020, we estimate consumers will activate connected services in only 88 million of these vehicles." I would be among the other 132 million people.
- Posted Apr 28, 2015

Faces of EContent

As content curator for the digital agency iAcquire, Lisa Kasanicky's primary charge is to manage blogs for the iAcquire and ClearVoice websites. She jokes that the job comes with "a long checklist of responsibilities and a tweed newsboy cap," as she works on everything from big-picture tasks (such as creating editorial calendars and nailing down topics with contributors) to details (such as crafting SEO titles and descriptions). She also writes guest blog posts, ebooks, case studies, client content, and email blasts.
- Posted Apr 03, 2015

Case Studies

Each year, SAE organizes about 27 international meetings, serving those three sectors related to the mobility industries, Fadik says; from those events, nearly 3,000 technical papers and journal articles are produced. "So that's really kind of where our whole scenario started," she says. "What we needed to do was to publish the documents in a consistent format. Print still is very important to our customers, so we still have to maintain that print product; so when we looked at the challenges we were facing, that led us down this path."
- Posted Apr 13, 2015